iZombie 4x09 "Mac-Liv-Moore"
This week’s episode is probably the closest thing to a bottle episode that iZombie will ever do. It’s not often that we see so many characters in one place, but it felt refreshing, fun, and made moves that will be important for this last part of the season.
Ravi and Liv are hard at work in the morgue, plugging away at autopsies of the bus massacre victims, which they affectionately refer to as “Satan’s Jigsaw Puzzle.” The victims of the massacre were the worst of the worst of Seattle’s criminals. One of them, Zombie Killer Ronnie “Sugar” Cain, somehow managed to get away from the incident, which is unfortunate because he’s a notorious serial killer. Sugar Cain takes out a rapper who calls himself “Dirty Reign,” and Liv eats his brain in a taco. (Did anyone else feel like that taco needed more ingredients?) As always, Rose McIver rises to the occasion and gives delightful blink-and-you’ll-miss-them white rapper fast takes. Since solving Dirty Reign’s murder wasn’t a main plot of the episode, this brain wasn’t necessarily useful or crucial to the plot, but I always love watching Rose flex her range. A few episodes ago she was body slamming hockey players in an ice rink, and here we watch her making original rhymes on a laptop.
Fillmore Graves takes over the manhunt for Sugar Cain and so they lock down Seattle. Clive comments this feels a little too close to martial law, but he stops complaining when he sees the great opportunity this presents for a Dungeons and Dragons campaign at the station. All the scenes where he’s playing with Ravi and the guys are probably the most relaxed and happy Clive has been all season, and they were so wonderful to watch. Clive is one of the few human characters we have left, but when he plays D&D or talks about Game of Thrones, those who didn’t know him well might think he had eaten a geek brain. He might feel guilty about his pleasures, but when Clive is having a good time, I’m having a good time.
Things get even more interesting when Michelle joins their game. She reminds them that since they’re playing in the interrogation room, they are definitely being videotaped, which mortifies Clive. They have a moment alone where they both have their guards down, and they kiss. It was pretty passionate, too! Even though Clive is still in an open relationship with Bozzio, something tells me she’d be pretty hurt if she had seen that. Michelle is starting to grow on me, but I’m still holding out hope for Clive and Bozzio, especially if Ravi can get to work on a new cure.
Which seems more possible than ever, now that Isobel is in the picture. Isobel, Liv, and Peyton all spend the lockdown at the station, too. Isobel is already a really fun addition to the narrative. She changes the game since she’s immune to being scratched, but she’s also got a spunky personality. Peyton and Liv obviously become affectionate and protective towards her immediately. Ravi pauses his D&D campaign to visit the girls in the morgue, but when he arrives, he hears Isobel calling her mom from a morgue drawer. Isobel tells him that they slipped out to grab snacks and introduces herself.
From there, things unravel for Liv, and I was glad to see it was because Ravi pressed the issue. He’s surprised that Liv hasn’t tried to scratch Isobel to save her from her sickness. He offers to do it himself, which forces Liv to admit that she’s already tried. And because we’re in the “No Secrets Club,” Isobel and Peyton name Liv as Renegade. Ravi is shocked and a little hurt that Liv didn’t tell him, but clearly the bigger thing at hand is the potential breakthroughs that Isobel offers. Liv is resistant to the idea, but Isobel insists that her “dying wish is to be a guinea pig.”
Isobel’s interactions with Ravi made me feel like I haven’t been appreciating him enough in these recaps this season. Ravi is one of those characters that can always be used for comic relief (Rahul Kohli has expert timing), but he’s also incredibly determined, good at his job, and a loyal friend. To watch him step up in such an empathetic and almost fatherly way was sweet and moving. I’m very excited to see where this plot with Isobel goes and to see this dynamic duo get the job done.
At Fillmore Graves, Chase Graves grows increasingly paranoid. When Major mentions the incident at the church, Chase busts up a locker and expresses frustration that he doesn’t ever know what’s going on. Major tells him it was all in a report, and Chase tells him it was “deliberately withheld from him.” It’s not clear why Chase feels like his own people are trying to sabotage him, but this episode showcased that Chase is slowly losing his grip. Zombie Killer Ronnie “Sugar” Cain makes a personal appearance at Chase’s office. He gives a speech about how he’s trying to put zombies out of their misery, including his wife and kid, and he blames Chase for what he’s had to do.
He shoots Chase in the kneecaps and aims to deliver the kill-shot, but Major takes him down. Fillmore Graves lifts the lockdown. Major didn’t kill Sugar Cain, but he’s on the brink of death, bleeding out in Chase’s office. Chase orders Major to scratch him so he can execute him by guillotine. That seems extra harsh, but not surprising from Chase Graves. Even though Sugar Cain begs to be killed, Major does what he’s told. Again, not surprised. Just disappointed. To his credit, I was glad to see Major back to being a mother hen to Jordan and “Captain Seattle” in this episode, just the way God intended.
On Blaine’s side of New Seattle, he gifts Don E an entire brain, which after consumption we learn is a genius brain. This is convenient for Blaine, as he is up to a particularly dastardly scheme in this episode. He tells Don E that property values for Seattle are going to skyrocket when things “go back to normal,” which made Don E’s ears perk up. Blaine, what do you know? Don E’s genius brain doesn’t miss a trick, and puts together that Blaine plans to turn the entire country into zombies, and after that the wall will come down.
Just in case we forgot, Blaine has the cures, and he plans on auctioning them off to the black market. Genius Don E points out how difficult it’ll be to prove the authenticity of the cures, but don’t worry, Blaine’s already thought of that. He’ll cure a well-known zombie, shoot them through the heart, and put the whole thing on camera. And who’s the most well-known zombie we know? The first and only Zombie Mayor of New Seattle. Blaine and Don E lure a drunken Mayor Baracus into Blaine’s office, get him to snort the cure, and execute him. The video circulates the internet the next day, and the black market prices for the cures are on fire. Blaine has made some crazy moves before, but this might take the cake.
Isobel and Blaine have set up the dominoes for the remaining four episodes of the season. An accessible cure seems more crucial than ever. Can Ravi pull it off? Will Major snap out of it before Chase Graves self-destructs? How does Angus play into the final act? I’m feeling confident that iZombie still has some delicious twists up its sleeve.
- Some odd motifs this season: bus massacres, serial killers, incriminating acts caught on camera.
- This episode is so full of quick quips, I could barely keep up. Between Liv’s rapper-isms and the Dungeons and Dragons, there was so much for the actors to chew on. I’m definitely looking forward to a rewatch of this episode, if only for all the one-liners.
- I was living for Liv calling Major out for sounding like a bad guy in a movie. If Liv can’t save Major from himself, I’m not sure anyone can.
- After watching Jordan and “Captain Seattle” get so cozy last time we saw them, I wonder what made Jordan decide to push him away.
- Wait, is Peyton the mayor now?
iZombie airs Mondays at 9/8c on The CW.